A Pennsylvania man is facing a raft of charges for allegedly driving drunk and then assaulting a police officer. The 56-year-old Weisenberg Township resident was transported to the Lehigh County Jail after being taken into custody, but he was released on March 3 after posting bail in the amount of $100,000. He has been charged with a first-degree felony count of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony count of eluding police and misdemeanor counts of simple assault, resisting arrest, driving while under the influence of alcohol and endangering the welfare of a child. He has also been cited for three motor vehicle violations.
The sequence of events that led to the man’s arrest began at approximately 9:15 p.m. on March 2 when a Pennsylvania State Police trooper’s patrol car was allegedly almost struck by a Ford van that was attempting to make a left turn onto Claussville Road from the northbound lanes of Pennsylvania Route 100. The trooper claims that the van ignored signs to pull over and continued to a detached garage on Distillery Road.
The man allegedly became belligerent when confronted. A physical altercation ensued after the trooper’s attempt to subdue the man using a stun gun was unsuccessful. During the scuffle, the trooper suffered a bite on his right leg and a shoulder injury that prevented him from using his arm. The man was brought into custody and charged with drunk driving when additional troopers responded to the scene. According to a police report, the man’s adolescent child was inside the van as the events unfolded.
Attempts to elude police officers usually end in failure and will almost certainly lead to additional charges. This kind of behavior gives prosecutors a stronger bargaining position and makes negotiating a favorable plea agreement more difficult for criminal defense attorneys. Experienced attorneys would likely tell their clients to cooperate with authorities while availing themselves of their constitutional rights.